Thermo Nicolet iS50 bench FTIR spectrometer

spectrometer on a lab bench

The thermo Nicolet iS50 bench FTIR spectrometer.

Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy is used to identify and analyse minerals, organic and man-made materials.

How it works

Infrared radiation is passed through the sample.

A detector is used to measure either the amount of radiation transmitted through or the amount of radiation reflected from the sample.

The resulting spectrum provides a unique chemical fingerprint of the sample.

Infrared spectroscopy is commonly used for the non-destructive identification of unknowns, the characterisation of bonds present in samples, and the detection of additives or contaminants. 

Measurements taken over time can be used to extract kinetic information, as the spectral shapes and proportions will change with time.

Practical examples of when we use Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy

Key facts

  • Read more about chemical analysis at the Museum
  • Technique: Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy (transmission and ATR)
  • Typical samples: minerals, unknown organic samples, (micro)plastics.